Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Michel Barnier: Irish border checks 'unavoidable'

PARLIAMENT TVJacob Rees Mogg revealed the biggest threat to freedom of speech in English universities PARLIAMENT TVJacob Rees Mogg revealed the biggest threat to freedom of speech in English universities
Orlando Vargas | 10 February, 2018, 02:25

The visitors asked the prime minister to establish a transition period long enough to allow companies to prepare for the upcoming changes.

The case was taken forward by lobby group Brexpats - Hear Our Voice, the five British nationals, and the Commercial Anglo Dutch Society, with support and funding from Jolyon Maugham QC.

So-called non-tariff barriers as a result of leaving the European Union have also been calculated to add as much as 16% in costs in the food, drink, defence and education sectors. "We need courageous judges who are confident to refer questions like this to the ECJ".

Barnier also spoke about the post-Brexit border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

There are other disagreements which persist and could jeopardise a transitional period to reassure markets and avoid a sudden economic cliff edge. It has therefore to accept all the rules and the obligations until the end of the transition.

A spokesman at May's office said she had agreed with them on the need to move on quickly in the Brexit talks to secure a trading relationship with the European Union that is as tariff-free and frictionless as possible after the transition period.

Barnier did not hide that he has some problem understanding UK's position on the transition period.

"I don't understand some of the positions of the United Kingdom", complained the EU's chief negotiator at a press conference today.

David Davis told parliament that regulatory alignment would not mean adopting exactly the same rules as the European Union but "mutually recognised" rules and inspections.

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But the British currency quickly reversed those gains on Friday after the EU's Michel Barnier said London had "substantial" objections to the EU's transition offer and that parts of it were not up for negotiation.

But the move drew some mockery as British Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly said that "Brexit means Brexit".

By comparison, London, which was among the highest Remain areas in the country, would sustain just a 3.5% fall in growth in a no deal scenario.

Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are advocating a clean break from the EU's institutions, while the likes of Philip Hammond and Amber Rudd want Britain to remain as closely aligned as possible to the bloc to protect the economy.

He also cited the UK's concern about not having a say on legislation passed during transition which it would be obliged to implement, and its wish to have the choice to participate in projects initiated in the same period, on which it has now "opt-in" rights.

"They don't wish to extend these rights to citizens who will arrive during the transition period", Barnier said.

The EU was expecting a briefing by the British side on how it envisages the future relationship as May is stuck between hard line Brexiteers and those who advocate for maintaining closer ties with the EU.

They urged the UK Government to make key choices and deliver a clear statement of intent - so businesses of all sizes and operating in all sectors "can make decisions for the future".

Speaking in Brussels on Friday, Barnier also said the UK's decision to leave the EU single market and customs union will mean Northern Ireland border checks are "unavoidable".

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